Dozens Arrested at Pro-Palestine Encampment at Art Institute of Chicago - The World News

Dozens Arrested at Pro-Palestine Encampment at Art Institute of Chicago

Dozens of pro-Palestine protestors were arrested on Saturday at an encampment at the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the nation’s most heavily attended museums.

The People’s Art Institute, a group run by students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, said on Instagram that it was seeking for the museum and the university to “divest from all entities and individuals financially supporting the Zionist occupation of Palestine.”

An encampment was set up on Saturday in the Art Institute of Chicago’s North Lawn, where protestors demonstrated in view of famed outdoor sculptures by David Smith and Henry Moore. According to the New York Times, the school asked the protestors to move and proposed an alternate location. They did not do so, according to a School of the Art Institute of Chicago spokesperson, who said that some protestors “surrounded and shoved a security officer and stole their keys to the museum, blocked emergency exits and barricaded gates.”

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View of the Art Institute of Chicago, October 17, 2022. (Photo Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Chicago Police Department said on social media that it arrived at the encampment on Saturday morning “to maintain the safety of those participating in the demonstration, as well as all those in the surrounding area.” The People’s Art Institute said the protests were peaceful.

“During multiple rounds of negotiations, SAIC student protesters were promised amnesty from academic sanction and trespassing charges if they agreed to relocate,” a museum spokesperson said. “The School also agreed to meet with a student group to discuss their demands. After approximately five hours, an agreement could not be reached. The museum requested that the Chicago Police Department end the protest in the safest way possible, and arrests were made after protesters were given many opportunities to leave.”

The CPD said they had arrested 68 people on Saturday for trespassing, marking the latest mass detainment at a pro-Palestine encampment related to universities, following similar ones at Columbia, NYU, and elsewhere.

A spokesperson for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago did not immediately respond to ARTnews’s requests for comment on Sunday.

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